Pork mechado is Spanish-inspired tomato-based stew featuring tender cuts of pork, potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers slowly simmered into perfection. This savoury dish is one of the common stars during occasions but also serves well during regular lunches. Best eaten with a bowl of hot steaming rice.
MECHADO VS THE WORLD
Philippines shelters an abundant list of tomato-based stews. And with that, there is a great confusion among these dishes. I am personally confused at first. Even now that I have a lot of cooking experience!
Among the tomato-based stews, the top 5 dishes which gives us massive confusion are: pochero, afritada, menudo, mechado and kaldereta.
I researched a bit to answer this confusion and to also share it with you. Well…. As I gathered different resources, most of them contradicts one another. I guess there’s no really concrete reference for the master recipe of the 4 dishes.
Let’s just believe what our lola or lolo taught us in making them. Have fun!
It was believed that the word “mechado” came from the Spanish word “mecha” which means wick. The traditional version of the mechado is cooked quite differently unlike how we prepare them today.
Beef is usually used for a mechado dish wherein bits of pork fat are inserted in the middle. These fat will melt during the cooking process and will add moisture to the beef. The pork fat will come out of the beef looking like a wick or “mecha”, and hence the name “mechado”.
The mechado recipe I am going to share is the one that has been passed down to me from many generations. Unlike the traditional one, this version will be using pork and tomato sauce.
Pork mechado is essential to every family celebration. The table is not complete when no tomato-based dish is present. Since family gatherings are limited, I added this dish to our regular lunch and dinner meals. It still brings the festive feeling for me even without a special occasion.
To have a yummy and delicious lunch, make some pork mechado and have it with a lot of newly steamed rice!
HOW TO MAKE PORK MECHADO
Pork mechado is super duper easy to make.
The first step is to marinate the pork cuts in a marinade made with toyomansi and black pepper. Best if you can do this overnight so the flavors will totally sip in.
Heat some oil and saute your vegetables separately just to brown them a bit and then set aside. Stir fry the marinated pork with the marinade until the fat melts and oil starts to come out. Remove the pork from the pan and reduce the oil. Just leave a little for sauteing.
Saute your aromatics and the marinated pork. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the veggies) and allow the pork to become tender. After around 40 minutes, the sauce has been reduced. Add the veggies and toss gently to coat them with the sauce. Do the final taste adjustment before serving.
Prepare a lot of rice because you’ll surely go unli rice with this dish!
Pork MechadoCourse: Pork Recipes
1 kilo pork kasim (or belly)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons calamansi juice
ground black pepper to taste
1 cup tomato sauce
1 large onion (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 medium tomatoes (chopped)
3 small potatoes (cut into wedges)
1 medium carrot (cut into wedges)
1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
1 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
4 to 5 dried bay leaves
1 knorr pork cubes
2 cups water (adjust as needed)
- Prepare and wash the pork cuts. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, calamansi juice and ground black pepper. Mix well. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Add the red and green bell peppers and saute for a minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Fry the potato wedges until light brown. Once browned, set aside. Fry the carrots until light brown. Once browned, set aside.
- Put the marinated pork (including the marinade) in the pan and stir-fry until the oil starts to come out. When oil has been rendered, remove the pork from the pan.
- Remove most of the oil and leave a little for sauteing. Saute the onions and garlic until light brown and fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and gently crush them while sauteing. Add the browned pork and then saute gently. Season with more black pepper. Add the dried bay leaves, tomato sauce and water. Stir gently. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the meat is tender.
- After 40 minutes, add the pork broth cube, potatoes and carrots. Stir gently until everything is well-coated with the sauce. Simmer for a few more minutes until the veggies are tender.
- Add the bell peppers and then stir gently. Do a taste test and adjust the taste according to your preference.
- Transfer the egg afritada to a serving plate and serve with a bowl of hot steaming rice. Enjoy!
Pork Mechado Recipe (TAGALOG)
- 1 kilo kasim (o liempo)
- 1/3 tasa ng toyo
- 2 kutsara ng calamansi
- durog na paminta
- 1 tasa ng tomato sauce
- 1 malaking sibuyas (hiniwa)
- 5 butil ng bawang (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 2 kamatis (hiniwa)
- 3 maliit na patatas (hiniwa ng wedges)
- 1 carrot (hiniwa ng wedges)
- 1 green bell pepper (hiniwa)
- 1 red bell pepper (hiniwa)
- 4 – 5 dahon ng laurel
- 1 knorr pork cubes
- 2 tasa ng tubig (pwedeng dagdagan)
- Ihanda at hugasan ang baboy. Ilipat ang mga ito sa malaking bowl. Ilagay ang toyo, calamansi juice a paminta. Haluin ng mabuti. I-marinate ito ng 1 oras o magdamag.
- Magpainit ng mantika. Ilagay ang mga bell peppers at igisa ng ilang minuto. Alisin at isantabi.
- Iprito ang mga patatas hanggang maging light brown. Iprito ang mga carrots hanggang maging light brown. Isantabi.
- Ilagay ang minarinate na baboy (kasama ang marinade) sa kawali at iprito hanggang lumabas ang mantika. Kapag lumabas na, alisin sa kawali.
- Bawasan ang mantika sa kawali. Igisa ang sibuyas at bawang hanggang maging light brown.
- Ilagay ang kamatis at medyo piratin habang ginigisa. Ilagay ang baboy at igisa. Budburan ng durog na paminta. Ilagay ang dahon ng laurel, tomato sauce at tubig. Haluin. Takpan ang kawali at hayaan itong maluto ng 30 – 45 minuto hanggang lumambot ang baboy.
- Pagkatapos ng 40 minuto, ilagay ang pork broth cube, patatas at carrots. Haluin ng dahan-dahan hanggang malagyan lahat ng sauce. Pakuluan ito ng konting minuto hanggang lumambot ang mga veggies.
- Ilagay ang bell peppers at haluin. Tikman at iadjust ang lasa.
- Ilipat ang egg afritada sa serving plate at ihain kasama ng mainit na kanin. Enjoy!